East Mesa Magmamax Power Process Geothermal Generating Plant, A Preliminary Analysis

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During recent months, Magma Power Company has been involved in the shakedown and startup of their 10 MW binary cycle power plant at East Mesa in the Imperial Valley of Southern California. This pilot plant has been designed specifically as an R & D facility, with its primary goal to explore the necessary technology improvements required to make the binary cycle an efficient, cost effective and reliable conversion process. Magma Power's exploration activities, carried out in other parts of the Western United States after the initial discovery and development at The Geyser's, gave evidence that The Geyser's type of steam ... continued below

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5-1-5-14

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Hinrichs, T.C. & Dambly, B.W. December 1, 1980.

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Description

During recent months, Magma Power Company has been involved in the shakedown and startup of their 10 MW binary cycle power plant at East Mesa in the Imperial Valley of Southern California. This pilot plant has been designed specifically as an R & D facility, with its primary goal to explore the necessary technology improvements required to make the binary cycle an efficient, cost effective and reliable conversion process. Magma Power's exploration activities, carried out in other parts of the Western United States after the initial discovery and development at The Geyser's, gave evidence that The Geyser's type of steam reservoir was unique and that the majority of geothermal resources would be of the hydrothermal, or pressurized hot water type. Initial flow tests throughout different locations where this type of resource was discovered indicated that well bore scaling occurred at the flash point in the wells. Initial evaluations indicated that if the well fluid could be maintained under pressure as it traversed the well bore, the potential for scaling would be mitigated. Tests carried out in the late 60's at Magma's Brady Hot Springs development in Nevada indicated that scaling was mitigated with the installation of a pump in the geothermal well. Subsequently, designs were developed of a binary process, utilizing heat exchangers for power generation. Magma was able to acquire process patents associated with this and had a patent issued (Magmamax Power Process). This incorporates the concept of pumping a geothermal well and transferring the heat in the geothermal fluid to a secondary power fluid in heat exchangers. Magma's desire to demonstrate this technology was one of the prime motivations associated with the installation of the East Mesa plant.

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5-1-5-14

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  • Proceedings of the Fourth Annual Geothermal Conference and Workshop, Conference Proceedings, December 1980

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  • Report No.: EPRI-TC-80-907-23
  • Grant Number: None
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 892105
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc873798

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  • December 1, 1980

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  • Sept. 21, 2016, 2:29 a.m.

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  • Nov. 23, 2016, 5:08 p.m.

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Hinrichs, T.C. & Dambly, B.W. East Mesa Magmamax Power Process Geothermal Generating Plant, A Preliminary Analysis, article, December 1, 1980; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc873798/: accessed August 18, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.